Seminar with Valentina Moro: “Staging gender in Antiquity: why is this archive still crucial for feminist theory? The case of the study of kinship”

“The research project I worked on at CAS SEE focuses on feminist discourses and methodologies. In this seminar presentation, I discussed several contributions in the research field of Gender in Antiquity, which are significantly relevant for their feminist methodology. This links my research as a fellow in Rijeka and my previous work, insofar as I have a Bachelor’s degree in Classics and, in my Ph.D. dissertation, I have analysed several Greek tragedies from a political perspective. On the one hand, my aim is to demonstrate why such an archive was and still is so important for scholars such as Judith Butler, Adriana Cavarero, and Bonnie Honig (whose work I will refer to, among others’). On the other, I will insist on a specific methodological approach in the study of gender in Antiquity, which analyses kinship ties as being agonistically constructed in the characters’ speeches.
From the 1970s onwards, many scholars in both fields of Political theory and Classics have been referring to the Greek tragedies, calling into question the idea of gender. The political relevance of their analysis is related to the way in which each of them problematized the theatricality of the representation of gender in the Greek sources. I am particularly interested in several scholars who focused on female characters in ancient literary sources by analysing the network of relationships in which they are embedded – and especially kinship relationships.
For instance, Victoria Wohl evokes Deleuze and Guattari’s critique to the traditional interpretation of kinship ties and gender roles as fixed structures, hierarchically depending on the figure of the Father. Judith Butler investigates the specificity of kinship ties and problematizes whether they are constitutive relationships deeply rooted within a political community or whether they depend on an authoritative narration (which requires a validation). And so on.
Which are the specific feminist approaches these scholars deployed in analysing the Greek tragedy? If we aim to reconsider the history of the political concepts from a feminist perspective, which is the possible contribution of the research on gender in Antiquity?”

Valentina Moro obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Padua (Italy) in 2018. In 2016 and 2017 she was a visiting research fellow at Brown University (USA). Her research intersects the fields of political theory, classics and gender studies. Currently, she is a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe at the University of Rijeka (Croatia) and at the Istituto italiano per gli studi filosofici in Naples (Italy). She co-edited the book Polis, Erōs, Parrēsia. Letture etico-politiche contemporanee della tragedia greca (Padova University Press, 2018) and she is a member of the editorial board of the journal Materiali foucaultiani.

Seminar with Valentina Moro was held at the University campus in Rijeka in dialogue with UNIRI CAS SEE fellows on December 6, 2019.

Seminar with Snežana Vesnić “Altered Time and Memory: Analog(y) of the Digital”

“My intention is to provide a new theoretical concept of the relation of analog/digital in order to then draw on it as a technology for the creation of new cultural models of the European Union. In a practical sense, I would like to construct a theoretical basis, critically deconstructing the relation analog/digital, with which I will create new contingencies for a virtual production of new cultural conceptions. Nelson Goodman (Language of Art, 1968) formulates the difference between the analog and digital through a parallel with continuous and discrete, distancing the concepts of analog and digital from their origins. In this understanding, a digital system has nothing special to do with digits and an analog system with analogy. The basic distinction between digital and analog, then, is a representation scheme: the digital is differentiated or discrete, while the analog scheme is continuous or dense. In architecture, according to Greg Lynn, the digital is impossible to isolate from the architectural project since the digital is an integral part of its process. On the other hand, Peter Eisenman problematizes the digital as that which possesses no memory.
In this text, I will project the new concept of “altered archeology,” showing that continuity and the production of time and memory are ensured by constant transformations of the analog into digital and vice versa. Thus, the analog gives the digital authenticity, while the digital’s technological potential becomes an arsenal for the creation of (the new) analog. In the final instance, drawing on Derrida’s line that “there is no political power without control of the archive, if not memory,” I will make a digital experiment of deconstructing EU Barcode, the art project designed by Rem Koolhaas.
In the following phase, this model would be applied to the city of Rijeka, aiming to use the results of this experiment in the Rijeka 2020 project: constituting the first architectural laboratory for the rebranding of the city of Rijeka. My purpose is to exploit the potential of difference, diversity and minority as analog reservoir for generating new visions, digital strategies and methodologies of the European project.”

Snežana Vesnić, PhD is an architect, currently working as Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade, where she also previously attended the Faculty of Applied Arts. She is a founding partner of the architectural studio Neoarhitekti (Belgrade) and award-winning author, twice nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award (2009, 2019). Vesnić conducts scientific research in the field of architectural philosophy and aesthetics. She received her PhD in 2018 from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, with a thesis entitled “Philosophy and Aesthetics of the Architectural Concept: Object of Reality and Object of Illusion.” Her theoretical work and architectural practice are focused on research and production of “architectural concepts.”

Seminar with Snežana Vesnić was held at the University campus in Rijeka on December 6, 2019.